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Canadiens Future Draft Plans Could Be Impacted By Panthers



Montreal Canadiens

The Florida Panthers finished the playoffs extremely banged up, a reality that may significantly impact the Montreal Canadiens’ future draft outlook.

The Panthers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, and ultimately fell short.

Similar to the Montreal Canadiens of 2021, it looks like this recent run will have come at a significant cost from a health perspective, that may well follow the Panthers into next season.

When talking about the injuries to his players, head coach Paul Maurice highlighted the extent of Matthew Tkachuk‘s injury.

“He fractured it (his sternum), and he came back and scored the goal. He’s one of four guys with broken bones,” said Maurice regarding the injuries to Matthew Tkachuk and the rest of the team.

But Tkachuk is not the only player that might be in danger of being out of action for an extended period of time.

“Aaron Ekblad broke his foot during the Boston Series, popped both his shoulder out twice, passed a concussion test, tore his oblique, and yet drove the puck up the nice to the offensive zone and helped score the tying goal,” said Maurice when asked to go into detail regarding the health of his team.

When asked to tally the damage for his whole team, Paul Maurice gave a quick rundown of the injuries; and it doesn’t look good.

“We’ve got four broken bones, three shoulders that are going to have to get fixed, oblique tears, but it’s not an excuse,” said Maurice when asked to tally the damage.

Needless to say, the Florida Panthers laid it all on the line, and it may cost them next season; which could directly impact the Montreal Canadiens.

How Does Montreal Fit In?

The Florida Panthers traded their next four 1st-round picks last season and, unlike their 2023 1st-round pick, the Florida Panthers put some trade protection on their 2024 and 2025 1st-round picks.

Shoulder injuries could take about five-to-six months to repair, while broken bones are always an anomaly when it comes to healing.

If the Panthers are to be without Tkachuk, Ekblad and more to start the season; coupled with the Stanley Cup Final hangover, they could be in for a rough season next year.

With most of their assets already traded, there’s a chance that they could miss the playoffs next season if things get too severe.

After all, they just barely squeaked into the playoffs this season when their team was relatively healthy outside of a handful of players.

So what happens if they miss the playoffs? Not much. However, if they fall into the bottom 10 or their 1st-round pick wins the Draft Lottery, it could impact the Montreal Canadiens.

Should the Panthers’ 2024 1st-round pick become a top-10 selection, the Philadelphia Flyers, who acquired the pick from the Flyers in the Claude Giroux trade, will be awarded the Panthers’ 2025 pick instead.

In consequence, the Calgary Flames, who currently own the Panthers’ 2025 1st-round pick due to the Matthew Tkachuk trade, would receive the Panthers’ 2026 1st-round pick.

Here’s where the Montreal Canadiens come in.

When the Canadiens acquired Sean Monahan, the conditions, at base, have the Canadiens set to receive the lower of Calgary or Florida’s 2025 1st-round pick.

But, if Calgary doesn’t own the Panthers’ 1st-round pick come June 2025, the conditions on this trade alter.

If Calgary does not get Florida’s 2025 1st round pick:

  • If Calgary’s 2025 1st round pick isn’t in top-10, then Montreal will receive Calgary’s 2025 1st; with the possibility of also receiving an additional 2024 4th round pick if:
    • Florida’s 2025 1st round pick isn’t a top-10 pick
    • Florida’s 2025 1st rounder has been transferred to another club (to Flyers or traded after lottery win)
    • Florida’s 2025 1st round pick has a higher draft position than Calgary’s 2025 1st round pick
  • If Calgary’s 2025 1st round pick is 2nd to 10th overall, Montreal receives Calgary’s 2025 1st round pick.
  • If Calgary’s 2025 1st round pick is a 1st overall pick, Montreal gets Calgary’s 2025 3rd round pick and the better of Calgary or Florida’s 2026 1st round pick.


It means that, if Florida suffers in 2024, it could set off a chain of events.

It’s worth remembering that the Calgary Flames have a high amount of pending free agents also coming up in the summer of 2024 that could harm the outcome of their 2024-2025 season.

Furthermore, it creates an interesting situation for Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens, as this pick has the potential to be far more valuable than initially thought.